Microwave solution - deeper upper cabinet?

Kristen HallockMarch 11, 2013

I need to figure this last thing out before the end of the week.

I want to put my microwave in an upper cabinet like pictured here in this mock-up.

I'll be buying a new microwave. I dont know which one though. We use the MW alot, but only for little things like reheating small tupperwares of food, or frozen Lean Cuisines or Popcorn. I can make this cabinet deeper for the microwave. Either 15 or 18" deep. The cabinet guy said its an ideal space since its up against a wall and another cabinet - is that true? Will it look funny for this cabinet to be 18" deep when the others are just 12"?

Another thing is that I can either get a 42" tall 30" wide upper with a shelf below and doors above the microwave OR I can get a 39" tall 30" wide open cabinet with just shelves. No doors above the MW.

Which would you prefer? I could put nicer serving dishes that we dont really use above the microwave if I didnt have doors to hide things there.

If I get the cabinet without the doors then the bottom of the cabinet would line up with all of my other cabinets since I could get it 39" tall. If I get the cabinet that has a shelf for the MW and then doors above, I need to get a 42" cabinet so the cabinet would hand down 3" below the adjacent cabinet.

Also I am thinking I should get this 18" deep to accommodate a decent microwave? I could also go 15" deep but then I would have a limited choice of microwave.

Please help me decide!

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catbuilder

I used a GE Spacemaker. It fits underneath a 12" deep cabinet. If you put a rail beneath it, it looks totally built-in. I use the microwave for the same thing you do, and find it more than adequate. If you put a microwave next to the wall, make sure there is enough clearance to open the door.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 4:29PM
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debrak_2008

I have a GE spacemaker on a 11.5" shelf. From the wall to the front it is 13". I've seen some on GW who have a built in spacemaker.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 4:35PM
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taggie

I hope it won't look funny because that's what we did and I think it looks pretty good. And the function is the best part of all.

Here's ours, you can just envision it without the coffee maker below, the point is the protrusion and how the molding moves with it at top.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 4:46PM
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westsider40

If going custom, dont make the cabs 12 in deep. 14 or 15 and then you can use them for dishes. Many of today's dinner plates are 10-11 in. diameter and you cant close the door on a 12 deep cab. Serving pieces and many other kitchen things require bigger cabs. 12 inches were for old small dishes. Today is oversize.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:59PM
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Slappified

We have a 21" deep shelf next to my fridge for the microwave and it looks perfect. The microwave is 2 cuft and barely fits. Since installing it, I've noticed its a little easier to use because it is out further and you don't have to reach across the counter to get in it. I'll try to take pictures of it tonight.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Caliente63

> Many of today's dinner plates are 10-11 in. diameter and you cant close
> the door on a 12 deep cab.

True for inset doors; not true for overlay. The back and hanging rails take about 1" out of the 12", leaving 11" for the plates (it doesn't matter if they overhang the edge of the sheves, so long as they clear the door). And if you have shaker style doors with a 1/4" center panel, you get a tad over 1/4" extra clearance behind the door. Of course, if you store your plates in a drawer next to the DW, you won't have this problem in the first place.

I can see a case for 13" deep uppers, but I think 15" would start to look overbearing unless you have 30" deep base cabinets. And if you fill up a 15" deep upper, you'll spend your life taking things out from the front to get to the stuff at the back (that's bad enough with a 12" deep upper). OTOH, I suppose that 15" uppers with small lazy susans could be quite effective.

Another important consideration when considering deeper uppers is that quite a few ranges do not allow them within 6" - 12" of the sides of the range. Generally, you are limited to 13" deep including the door within that distance.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:44PM
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Kristen Hallock

I'm not going custom. And my doors will be full-overlay, not inset doors. My current dishes fit fine in my old 12" uppers so I think it will work out fine.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 4:12PM
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gwlolo

We have full overlay but my uppers are 18in deep and I do have a shelf to accomodate the microwave with a cabinet with doors above

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 4:19PM
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ginny20

I think it looks fine to have the cab deeper than its neighbors, like taggie's. I also like how hers is filled in all the way to the counter with another appliance. If you took that cab all the way to the counter, you could put the microwave lower and have the doors above, but instead of just hanging down 3 inches, it would hold something. You could also put the microwave at the bottom and have a shelf above and doors above that. It looks like you have a lot of counter space without that part.

But, of course, the GE Space Saver sounds like a good plan, too. Just don't get a Whirlpool. and I should warn you that the plastic stuff over the press pads of my Frigidaire counter MW started to lift up in just a few months.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 9:19PM
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williamsem

They don't offer a cabinet with just a deeper open shelf sticking out? I've seen those in some lines. Or I bet if you make those two cabinets on that side deep nobody would notice, plus you get more storage! If you get the taller one, I think it would look intentional so it is easier to reach.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:04PM
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scrappy25

taggie, can you tell us how deep that cabinet is? thanks!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 1:17PM
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drbeanie2000

Ditto on the GE spacemaker. We don't do complicated things in the microwave. I didn't get the trim kit to make it look built-in, but it's on a regular 12" deep shelf. The cabs to the right are deeper because they house the ovens. The ones to the left are just regular 12".

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 2:38PM
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abfabamy

We did not have custom cabinets, but ordered Kraftmaid from Lowe's. We didn't want our often used microwave and toaster oven in view when not in use, so we had one of the uppers increased in depth to 18", and had an "appliance gargage" type cabinet made to slide in between upper and countertop increased to 18", also. We have lived in our kitchen for about 8 months now and I love this set-up! I worried about the cabinet doors being open when using these appliances, but our house is a quiet one, with just DH and me, so it has not been a problem at all. Also, for us, having the doors open like this reminds us to shut them when we are done using the appliances, so they aren't perpetually open like they were when we had the old style tambour door.

It looks like you have a great spot to do this where you have planned. Or, maybe you just want the upper done, but I don't have a picture of how that would look.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Kristen Hallock

I like that idea with your toaster oven! We use a toaster oven daily for breakfast with 2 kids so maybe I should think about that!

Are you cabinets the Deveron style? We are looking at Deveron which has the veneer recessed panel and Durham which has the solid wood recessed panel at Lowes.

do you know what your crown molding is? Did you buy that from Kraftmaid too? I like yours a lot. We are getting a small 2" crown molding but it looks different and I like yours better.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 8:24PM
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abfabamy

I believe ours is the Deveron. They are cherry with ginger sable glaze...I think. The crown is Kraftmaid's larger 3 inch 'cove' molding.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 9:10PM
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taggie

scrappy25, our microwave cabinet is 20" deep but that's dictated by the coffee maker. The microwave is just a kenmore cheapie that's only 14.5" deep.

I think an 18" depth would be perfect. Leaves plenty of room for the cord behind and it's nice to have a bit of wiggle room for maneuvering the microwave a bit when cleaning dust on the shelf below it. And I think the depth change at 18" in abfabamy's photo looks great.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Slappified

Just wanted to follow-up and post a picture of our 21" deep shelf.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Angie_DIY

I think the solution that has the cab hang down 3" below the other cabs would work well (depending on what you wanted to store under it). It is in a corner, so that would not break up your prep space.

I am not short, but I find it hard to reach up to the height of the bottom shelf of an upper cab with, say, a hot bowl of soup. Lowering the MW a little would help.

Have you considered a drawer MW in a lower cab? It appears you have the room for it.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Kristen Hallock

Maybe I should reconsider having the cabinet be slightly lower. I thought of a microwave drawer, but DH is 6' and he doesnt like the idea of a drawer.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 1:53PM
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abfabamy

I just wanted to chime in and add my additional 2 cents. My DH is 6' 5" so a drawer was out for him, but I am 5' 0" so I worried about having the microwave up as high as the bottom shelf of the upper cabinet, but I've found it is not a problem for me at all. Previously, for the past 25 years, we have had an above the stove micro, so I've always had to reach that high so maybe I'm just used to it, but I would do it again this way in a second!

What I have found is that the toaster oven would not have worked up high like that and needed to be at counter level, which is why it occupies the bottom spot in our arrangement.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 4:00PM
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